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The Climate Crisis and the Global Green New…

The Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of… (edição: 2020)

de Noam Chomsky (Autor)

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Título:The Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet
Autores:Noam Chomsky (Autor)
Informação:Verso Books (2020), 180 pages

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The Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet de Noam Chomsky


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This is what I've been looking for - a practical roadmap for how the world can achieve net zero global emissions by 2050, presented in an easily understandable format, and written without overly complex economic jargon. In the political sphere, both sides of this argument tend to oversimplify the issue; one arguing it will lead to massive job creation, the other that it will lead to the destruction of all jobs everywhere - but I wanted to read something that could give me a fairly good working knowledge of the true cost-benefit analysis of such a massive economic & lifestyle shift, and specific ways nations could begin to make it happen.

I was pleasantly surprised, as well, to find that Chomsky and Pollin address the topic of how wealthy western countries are by far the most culpable in the current climate crisis, and emphasize their obligation to support less developed nations overcome some of the challenges they face in converting to clean energy. Expecting developing nations, which struggle to feed and house their populations, to somehow suddenly electrify rural areas with wind and/or solar power is ridiculous, especially when the urgent need to do so rests pretty squarely on the shoulders of the world's historical colonialist nations.

My only complaint here is that Chomsky occasionally devolves into a kind of despair with regards to the chances the world will actually succeed in averting climatological disaster (an outlook I can sort of understand given that the book was written during Trump's reign, um, I mean, term). I don't need all that negativity, though; I can handle that bit myself. Don't show me what's possible, then point out that we're probably screwed anyway.

Otherwise, a great introduction to what is a complex and often thorny but vitally necessary topic. ( )
  lpmejia | Feb 6, 2021 |
This is a book in two parts, one is Chomsky's views on the current political environment and Pollin's analysis of the Green Deal. It is probably one of the more up-to-date books on the climate political discourse, but still flawed in parts by Chomsky's opinions on other countries political stances. While I admire his intellect, I don't always agree with his political views. ( )
  kerryp | Dec 7, 2020 |
If Noam Chomsky is willing to plunge into the Green New Deal (GND) debate, I am certainly willing to read it. Unfortunately, Chomsky’s comments are mostly the same as in his political criticism. He defers to experts for environmental issues. Robert Pollin is that expert, and the two of them answer questions about the Green New Deal from Chronis Polychroniou in Climate Crisis and Global Green New Deal. Sadly, the questions are softball lobs meant only to advance the narrative, and no three-way argument ever takes shape. The book never heats up beyond tepid on the GND.

Chomsky is no fan of Donald Trump. In one of his first answers, he diverts to Trump in language he normally saves for linguists who disagree with his theories of language acquisition or generative grammar, where he is, to put it mildly, biting. “The Chief is an infantile megalomaniac, and very effective conman, who couldn’t care less if the world burns or explodes, as long as he can pretend to be the winner as he two-steps over the cliff waving his little red hat triumphantly.” That sets the stage for Chomsky’s criticisms of the US government’s activities in things environmental.

Just one example: In 2018 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a 500 page environmental impact statement on vehicle emissions. It said that since temperatures will rise by more than four degrees Celsius anyway, the amount of emissions from vehicles will make no significant difference. “If one can find a comparable document of similar malevolence in the historical record, I would be interested in knowing about it.” Classic Chomsky. Classic Trump administration. But he is not nearly as sharp, informed or focused on the Green New Deal, and that’s what the book is supposed to be about.

Pollin is more on topic. In fact, the whole nub of the book is his analysis of how to pay for the Green New Deal. It appears halfway through, and he is able to show it is most doable. If there is the political will.

The four funding sources are:
1, A carbon tax in which 75% of the proceeds are rebated to the public, and 25% into clean energy projects.
2. A transfer of funds out of the military budgets globally
3. A Green Bond lending program from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank
4. The end of all fossil fuel subsidies, with 25% of amount channeled into clean energy projects.

Pollin backs them up with stats. In 2019 Credit Suisse calculated the total value of global financial assets at $317 trillion. The Green New Deal requires $2.4 trillion a year (at first). This is just 7/10 of one percent of those financial assets. He says the $1.3 trillion from public contribution net investment is all of 2.5% of GDP. That would allow the world to reach zero emissions by 2050, without breaking the bank. He does this for all four sources. Getting governments to agree however, is out of scope.

Sadly, rather reducing the 33 billion tons of carbon dumped into the ecosphere annually, we are still increasing. We’re now looking at 38 billion tons a year. With perhaps a temporary dip from the coronavirus pandemic.

In other words, there is no political will to accomplish anything at all. All of the Paris COP21 nations have failed to live up to their commitments. What is needed is a Franklin Delano Roosevelt to implement the New Deal by directing the entire government to focus on it. FDR mobilized the country to climb out of the Depression and then again to produce everything needed to win World War II. Both Chomsky and Pollin consider the ecological disaster to be an emergency of at least the same magnitude as the ones FDR faced. Like his program, the Green New Deal will create jobs and increase wealth – just not in fossil fuels. But short of an FDR in charge, this book shows no path to avoid oblivion at all.

If all it is is the four funding sources, this would have been better much received as a magazine article. It is not enough for a book.

David Wineberg ( )
1 vote DavidWineberg | Jun 4, 2020 |
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Noam Chomskyautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Pollin, RobertAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Polychroniou, C.J.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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